Nothing can prepare first-time visitors to Thailand for the intricate touches and attention to detail that permeates every aspect of the local hotel industry. Visitors often find that the star rating system typically understates the quality of the guest experience by one star when compared internationally and many hotels in Thailand are consistently rated among the top properties worldwide by experts and average travelers alike. On a trip to Thailand’s north, I had the opportunity to tour the sprawling grounds and luxurious rooms of the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, a luxury hotel of classic elegance that cocoons guests in opulence and stately accommodations.
Nestled amongst the grounds of what appears to be a world heritage site, the Dhara Dhevi actually created a replica of a northern Thai imperial city, complete with working rice paddies and irrigation canals, to kick start its guest’s immersion into the richness of the local culture. Stays at this property have the potential to create unparalleled experiences and great memories.
You can travel back in time amidst luxurious all-suite accommodations in low rise buildings or the exclusive villas which showcase crafted woods and classic décor. The lowest form of ‘standard rooms’ are actually classified as suites, and rightly so. Suites start out at over a thousand square feet, on average, and feature jetted tubs with chromo-therapy lighting. Villas on the property are free standing homes on two levels, with a living room, kitchen, and study on the ground floor, and master baths and sleeping rooms on the top floor. Most villas offer a jetted plunge pool and deck overlooking the rice paddies of the resort which are farmed daily by employee farmers, with the rice donated to the local community and charities.
The resort offers all the amenities one would expect from a full service five star Mandarin Oriental, and is a true destination resort. The onsite spa has a dozen and a half treatment rooms, its own café, boutique, and spa academy for both therapist training and hotel guest courses. Golfers will find three world class courses just minutes away. For the culturally curious and culinary aficionados, the resort holds workshops on crafts and Thai cooking regularly.
With such a brief walk through the resort, it’s hard to provide more details. When we visit Chiang Mai again, we’ll simply have to stay longer in one of the villas or suites to better experience this unique luxury property, its cultural offerings, crafts village, spa, and expansive grounds spanning over 60 acres.